Allied Health Studies: Among Delgado’s Most Sought-After Programs

By: Dee Shedrick
Allied Health is any medical profession other than doctors and nurses. With over 30 programs, Delgado Community College prepares students for many medical field careers from funeral services to pharmacy. Some are two-year certificate programs and some are brief programs, like EKG (electrocardiograph technicians test the activity of the heart). A lot has changed since 1972, when the program only offered radiology, respiratory and environmental health technician technology.

In its infancy, the health care program was part of the science and math division. But when Delgado merged with Charity Hospital School of Nursing, it absorbed its programs in the 90's. The program expanded tremendously offering nuclear medicine, ultrasound and surgical technician training. It was at that point that the division was created and officially named, Allied Health. Marvin Thames, Sr. was director at that time and named Harold Gaspard, currently vice chancellor for academic affairs as the first dean of Allied Health. Gaspard's work was cut out for him to identify and develop all of the health care programs that were needed. Allied Health began to work with The Metropolitan Hospital Association for hospitals in metro New Orleans to establish particular programs based on their needs. Gaspard remembers, "We would write the programs, hand carry it to Baton Rouge, get it approved by the boards and come back and implement it." 

Allied Health is housed in Building 4 that was originally a Rehabilitation Center. It had eight dormitories along with its own house mother. Dorms had a living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. It was built for individuals that had mental or physical disabilities. Generally, students in wheelchairs or students from out-of-town would stay at the center. They would stay there temporarily to be evaluated on their limitations and capabilities. After the evaluation they would be put into jobs or Social Services would provide care for them if they were disabled. If the students were qualified to work, they would be taught skills for jobs in the restaurant, hotel, carpentry, electrical or plumbing industries. "Students would be trained to be helpers rather than  certified workers," said Gaspard. In 1990, the Rehabilitation Center relocated off-campus and Allied Health moved in. The majority of Allied Health is in Building 4 on the City Park campus, but a few others are in Building 1 and at Delgado Charity School of Nursing.

Today, Delgado has close to 400 partnerships with health care providers across the state.  All Allied Health students are assigned to work in a hospital or clinic to complete their practicums. Many students have graduated from Delgado to become doctors and administrators in the health care field all over the world.


Charity Hospital Transfers Control to Delgado - Students Get Associate Degrees in Nursing

By: Dee Shedrick
Eleven students enrolled in Delgado Community College's-Charity School of Nursing program in hopes of becoming registered nurses in 1991. Two years later, they walked across the stage wearing the signature nursing pins all graduating nursing students wear on their lapels during graduation. But one thing was different; they had degrees in their hands, instead of the diploma they would have received after successfully completing their training when the school originally opened in 1894 by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Charity was unable to continue to fund the program and Delgado gladly stepped up to continue the tradition.

Pins worn by all nursing students graduates during commencement ceremonies and the first class to graduate with associate degrees in nursing
Delgado and the director at that time, Sally Cooper (1980-1992) had their work cut out for them by taking over Charity. "We had to phase out an entire year and transition from a hospital to a college system, says Joan Hodge, assistant dean of academic affairs. The original program took almost four years to complete. They had to maintain their accreditation and update the program, while condensing the curriculum down to two years. But the buck didn't stop there.   Shortly after the merger, Dean Gayle Barrau (1993-2000) had to contend with astronomical numbers in enrollment because of the oil bust in the 1990s. Head Librarian, Sharon Robinson recalls, "The nursing school saw a lot of male applicants who used to be in the oil industry." Oil companies were relocating to Houston, so unemployed men decided to try their oil slicked hands to nursing.

Nursing school was dedicated to Sr. Stanislaus Malone of The Daughters of Charity in 1950
Each leader of the school faced specific challenges during their tenor. And for Pat Eagers (2000-2011), who was dean until recently, probably dealt with one of the biggest challenges of them all, Hurricane Katrina. Many nursing students did not return after the devastating storm, but the school still managed to pull off a graduation in January of 2006 with 162 graduates.

"Patients are sicker; there are new discoveries in science, health, technology and the volumes of information that need to be taught has drastically changed how nursing students are trained and how they treat patients," said Hodge. "Not to mention the development of more drugs, added Robinson. Currently, Dr. Cheryl Myers is executive dean of Delgado’s Charity School of Nursing. Myers will have to revise the curriculum that has not been updated since the merger in the 90s.

Pictures from Delgado Charity School of Nursing yearbook, 1992
Throughout the years, Delgado's nursing school has maintained its examination pass rates in the 90 percentile. The school graduates over 200 students every year and Delgado's nursing students are highly prized by employers in and out-of-state.    The nursing school located downtown was built to house 500 students, however, over the years the building has had to accommodate 7-800 and has graduated over 4,000 students since 1992. The school has been through many changes since it was ran by the Sisters of the Daughters of Charity and it doesn't look like change will stop anytime soon.

Other notable milestones from 1990-1999:
  • Nursing students serve in the Gulf War.
  • Delgado library became computerized, utilizing LOUIS (Louisiana online university system).
  • The Michael L. Williamson Gymnasium was built for the basketball team.
  • Delgado began to offer associate degrees in dental hygiene and technology, (although the program does not exist today).
  • The Student Life Center was built for the City Park campus in building seven, but was demolished post-Katrina.


Delgado A - Z: Architecture

By: Hilton Guidry
For 90 years Delgado has offered a wide range of different programs. Students can study everything from Accounting to Zydeco Music! The first program we will take a look at is Architecture. This program has been around as long as the college itself - 90 years.

At first, the program was called Architectural Drafting and was offered along with other building trade programs such as carpentry, plumbing, welding and brick laying. One of the first graduates of the Architecture program included August Perez, founder of the Perez Architecture Firm. Since the 1940s, the Perez firm has designed many office buildings and landscape architecture that can be found throughout New Orleans and across the country. From the early beginnings (when students learned to design and draw chicken coops), the program has grown, and in the 1960s students could earn an associate's degree in Architectural/Design Construction Technology (an ATMAE accredited program).

 Delgado Students August Perez & Horace Trepagnier

Today you will find many graduates of the program working for architecture firms, construction companies and design firms both locally and nationally. According to professor and department head P. Victor Mirzai, all the classes offered are completely full with many eager students looking to get into this exciting career. Students can expect to find an entry level job paying between $35 – 40K a year in the New Orleans area upon graduation.

The program and its students are actively involved and affiliated with a number of business and industry organizations (NAHB, HBA, CSI, NAWIC, AIA and CMAA) on the local and national level. Many students have completed service learning projects in the community and have worked closely with local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity (designing Katrina houses), the SPCA (designing dog houses) and the Preservation Resource Center and Historic Districts Landmark Commission (neighborhood revitalization projects and landmark designations). The Architecture program also takes pride in its strong industry affiliation and support of its Alumni, along with an active student organization called DASO (Delgado Architecture Student Organization).

 Students working on Katrina Houses

Habitat for Humanity service learning project

With 28 years at Delgado, Professor Mirzai has seen this program grow and win many awards. The program recently placed first in the nation for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Outstanding Student Chapter program (2008) and had top five finishes over the last several years. The Architecture program also participates in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) CANstruction Design/Build Competitions. This unique competition helps the Second Harvest Food Bank collect can goods to feed the needy people of New Orleans. In 2010, Delgado's entry "MaCAN Music In Da Neighborhood" won the award for best meal award and people's choice award. Delgado's Architecture team has won six top CANstruction awards in the past years and in May 2011 (when the AIA National Convention was held in New Orleans) the Delgado team was the only team that showcased a CANstruction display for the conventioneers at the river walk.

 Award Winning Project "MaCAN Music In Da Neighborhood"

A couple of recent projects Delgado students worked on include the Louisiana Medal of Honor Park & Museum in Belle Chase design, getting the Isaac Delgado Hall on the national registry and a campus pavilion that will be located near the lagoon. 

For the Louisiana Medal of Honor Park, students were asked to present a design and model for Plaquemines Parish leaders so they could have an idea what the park would look like. Five students worked on the project and park planners were so pleased with it, they decided to use their concept.

 Model For the Louisiana Medal Of Honor Park

A few years ago the National Park Service decided to ask architectural and construction schools around the country to promote the restoration and development of significant historic buildings. Realizing that his students had the historical Isaac Delgado Hall building on campus, Professor Mirzai asked five students to work on the project to produce drawings that documented the building from the ground up. The drawings were entered into a competition in Washington D.C. The students’ hard work paid off and the building is now in the Library of Congress as a National Register of Historic Buildings.

Architectural Drawing of Isaac Delgado Hall for the National Register

Professor Mirzai in front of the Isaac Delgado Hall National Register Plaque 

The Delgado campus has been needing a multipurpose pavilion for a few years now. So the Student Government Association VP of Policy, David Teagle, approached Professor Mirzai about having one of his students design the project. A committee was formed to choose the winning design and Delgado architect student Jessica Ferrera's model was chosen. Construction should begin this fall with hopes for the pavilion to be ready in time for Delgado's 90th anniversary.

Winning Architectural Drawing of the Campus Pavilion

Delgado Student Jessica Ferrera, Winner of the Campus Pavilion Design

When the Delgado Architecture program started 90 years ago, students would sketch and draw their designs. And even today with the advancement in technology and AutoCAD (computer assisted design software), students still need to be able to sketch designs freehand BEFORE they can lay it out in AutoCAD. As Professor Mirzai puts it, "You have to crawl before you walk". It just goes to show you, some things never change, even over 90 years!


Delgado in the 80s

By: Dee Shedrick
 During the 1980s, Delgado Community College expanded its academic programs beyond the traditional trades the school offered when its doors opened in 1921. The growing needs of the community and improvements in technology made it necessary to add courses to prepare students with new skills. Delgado still provided training in carpentry, welding, mechanics and construction; however, it added courses like court reporting, computer science, funeral services, radiology and the humanities. Delgado continued to groom its students immediately for the workforce and began to get others ready to attend a university to further their education.
Court reporter who trained at Delgado.  Photo courtesy of Times-Picayune July 6, 1983.
In the January 1980 issue of On The Scene, the college's newsletter at that time, Dr. Frank Wright, vice president for academic affairs and provost, said, "Every effort must be made to strike an equal balance between technology and liberal arts. As industry makes more demands on us to increase our competencies in technology, we must begin to develop the wisdom competent to our curriculum." That same year, the school changed its name to Delgado Community College.
Delgado student studying. Photo courtesy of Times-Picayune December 15, 1984.
The “Eighties” created a more diverse Delgado. Graduates were able to graduate and continue on to a four-year college because of an articulation agreement that guaranteed the transfer of Delgado's credits to other institutions in the state. So students could major in general studies and earn their core curriculum requirements, then transfer to the school of their choice.
In addition to the many changes in the curriculum in the 80s, the City Park campus received a face-lift. Mayor Morial presented a million dollars to the school from the Isaac Delgado-Albania Plantation trust fund to refurbish Building One. In a column written by President Boyer in another issue of On The Scene, he wrote, "For months now the City Park campus has been inconvenienced by construction on Building One and related work. Faculty, staff and students whose routines have been disrupted by these and other changes on the campus are quite naturally becoming discouraged … I recognize that inconveniences will continue for some time, but I hope that a better knowledge of where we are and where we're going will make the inevitable problems more bearable."
Groundbreaking ceremony for the Henry E. Braden, Sr. Vocational Technical Center. Photo courtesy of The Louisiana Weekly 1983.
Other renovations and new construction included an art gallery in 1981, currently known as the Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery; the opening of the uniquely designed octagon-shaped O'Keefe Administration Building in 1982, named after businessman Arthur J. O'Keefe who was mayor of New Orleans from 1926-1930; and the completion of the 32,000 square-foot Henry E. Braden Sr. Vocational Technical Center in 1984.
Delgado also had its share of challenges in the 80s. Athletic Director Tommy Smith, who has worked at the school since 1981, remembers, "The school went through political scrutiny during the 80s, but emerged under new leadership with increased enrollment, a positive image and nationwide recognition."
In spite of the challenging times with its leaders and the transformation of becoming both a vocational and academic college, other exciting events took place throughout the decade. A weekly television show was produced and telecourses were offered on Cox Cable TV. Rod Stewart, Eddie Murphy and Willie Nelson performed at benefit concerts sponsored by the Delgado Foundation. The Dolphin mascot made its debut. And the school was re-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools between 1986 and 1988.
Cover of On The Scene newsletter. Courtesy of Delgado Community College 1985.
The “Nineteen Eighties” was a pivotal time for education and all community colleges, as a result of the advances in industry and technology. And just as America continued to change, Delgado has and still is consistently meeting the needs and the demands of the New Orleans community.
Works Consulted

Personal interview, Tommy Smith, Delgado employee.

On The Scene Delgado newsletters,1980-1989.

The Times-Picayune/States-Item, February 27, 1982.

Metairie Guide, January 13, 1982.

The Times-Picayune January 22, 1984.

Delgado Community College Catalogs, 1989-1992 and 1996-1997.


1970: A Prototype Institute for Teaching Minority and Low-Income Students

By: Tony Cook
In September 1970, Delgado Junior College announced the formation of “A Prototype Institute for Training Teachers of Minority and Low Income Students.” The institute based its learning sessions on a study conducted earlier that year of the needs of such students by a group of Delgado faculty and students collaborating with community leaders experienced in working with “the disadvantaged.” From September 1970 through June 1971, the institute provided part-time training (one day every two weeks, after one full week) for a select group of Delgado faculty in improving methods of teaching “socio-economically deprived” students.

Seal of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, established in 1953.
In 1970-71, students at Delgado numbered about 4,700. About 25 percent of these were African American and about 35 percent of Delgado students came from families with annual incomes less than $6,000. Enrollment at Delgado was “open”—there were no particular educational requirements for admission. The faculty of the College numbered 149 that year. Many Delgado faculty identified themselves as having come from disadvantaged backgrounds and wanted help in reaching out to disadvantaged students.

In 1970, the St. Roch Market in the Bywater was a community gathering place.
 “Delgado had a long history of increasing involvement with this group of students,” notes the official report on the institute. “Delgado teachers were very much interested in this kind of learning.”
The perception of Delgado as a racially integrated college that could serve as a prototype for other junior colleges—especially in the Southern states—led to creation of the institute. The 20 faculty participants had from two and a half to 31 years of teaching experience, with educational backgrounds ranging from associate to doctoral degrees. They taught automotive mechanics, fine arts, and various other subjects.

The 1970s saw the emergence of national political leaders from the ranks of the Civil Rights movement.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the institute’s training sessions focused on the cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds of disadvantaged students. It offered the faculty members assistance in dealing with the problems presented by the students, helping them understand how to use appropriate instructional materials, audiovisual aids, and counseling to improve the experience of the students at Delgado. Each participating faculty member received a $75 stipend.

Five Delgado students and five community leaders representing the city’s minority and low income population participated in the institute along with 20 Delgado faculty members. The first half of each session was a presentation by a guest lecturer. The second half was group discussion of how the lecturer’s expertise could be applied in classrooms, laboratories, and workshops at Delgado.
Social workers Dr. Harris K. Goldstein and Cherrie Lou Wood ran the institute. Faculty involved in planning the sessions included John Canerday, Dr. Newton Grant, and Dr. Peter Giarrusso. They, along with student Joseph Bonomolo and community representative Shirley Daniels, worked with Goldstein and Wood to keep the institute on track.

Mahalia Jackson and the Eureka Brass Band performed at the first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1970.
 The experts brought in to lecture at each session were a diverse group. The first of two sessions in the month of December 1970 featured Dr. Alvin L. Betrand, an LSU sociology professor, whose talk was titled “Hereditary and Environmental Influences Affecting Learning of Low Income and Minority Students: Suggestions for Dealing with These Based on Empirical Research.” Other experts came from Tulane University, Xavier University, the University of South Carolina, City College of San Francisco, and Florida State University.

Dr. Marvin E. Thames, Delgado’s president, lived with his family on campus from 1956 until 1979.
 When it was over, the faculty participants concluded that more and better counseling programs would be the most important change Delgado could make to help disadvantaged students. Also viewed as important were improving new student orientation and offering more individualized instruction.

“As participants discovered over and over,” states the institute’s official report, “what was good teaching for the low-income student was helpful to all students.”


A Turbulent Decade: Delgado in the 1970s

By: Tony Cook
The 1970s were a decade marked by tremendous social and cultural changes, including integration of public schools, legalization of abortion, and the end of American military operations in Vietnam. The years also may be viewed as the pinnacle of America’s post-war economic might—despite the economic hardships created by the oil crisis and runaway inflation. This was the era when Americans explored the surface of the moon; when the automobile industry produced 20-foot long behemoths clad in chrome and burning a gallon of gas every seven miles; when the World Trade Center towers opened in New York City as the world’s tallest buildings.

Delgado’s history during the 1970s is also marked by significant, often dramatic, changes.  Access to education was a national issue, and at Delgado there were many developments that affected educational access and the quality of instruction and guidance delivered to students. Here are details about a few of those developments, and some of the national issues that affected Delgado and New Orleans at the time.

West Bank Campus destroyed by fire.
Delgado’s West Bank Campus opened in the fall of 1967 in a former Navy building in Algiers—the only public higher education institution west of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans region. The campus achieved an enrollment of about 500 in its first two years of operation. A devastating fire that destroyed the original building, and lack of financial resources, forced Delgado to close the West Bank Campus in 1970. After a new building was constructed, the campus reopened in 1974 with 750 students.

Delgado gains accreditation.
Delgado was accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1972. To earn and maintain this accreditation, Delgado complies with the standards, policies, and procedures of the Commission on Colleges of SACS. The commission applies its requirements to all institutions, regardless of whether public, private for-profit, or private not-for-profit. SACS is the recognized accreditation organization for the 11 states in the South, and Latin America.

Men on the moon.
Following two successful landings of Apollo spacecraft on the surface of the moon in 1969, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched five more manned missions to Earth’s closest celestial neighbor between 1970 and 1972. One of these, Apollo 13, did not complete its mission of landing on the lunar surface, but all the rest were highly successful. Apollo 14, 15, 16, and 17 took teams of three astronauts into lunar orbit, and landed two men per mission on the moon to conduct experiments and explore the surface. The last two men to set foot on the moon—in December 1972—were Harrison Schmitt, 37, a geologist from New Mexico, and Navy Captain Eugene Cernan, 38. 

West Bank Campus reopens.
Delgado’s West Bank Campus reopened in a modern one-story building on an expansive 13 acres in Algiers in 1974. That building was supplemented in 1979 by a new technical laboratory building housing art department facilities and faculty offices as well as automotive and welding shops. Col. Floyd M. Long was executive dean of the West Bank Campus during this rebuilding period. More than half of the 1800 students at the West Bank Campus in 1979 were enrolled in arts and sciences and business classes. Two other divisions, occupational technologies and engineering, offered the rest of the curriculum at the West Bank Campus, where more than half of the courses met at night.

A Southern president.
Jimmy Carter, a farmer and businessman from the hamlet of Plains, Georgia, was elected president of the United States in 1976—the first native of the so-called Deep South to achieve that office since Virginian Zachary Taylor’s election in 1848. A former governor of Georgia, Carter ran as an outsider, someone independent of the Washington, D.C., political establishment. An electorate made skeptical of politics following the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974 elected him over an incumbent un-elected president, Gerald Ford. Carter’s initial popularity—he famously stepped out of his limousine to walk beside his wife, Rosalyn, in his inaugural parade—evaporated as inflation spiraled in the U.S. and foreign relations eclipsed his domestic agenda to increase employment and prosperity. Armed militants took 52 Americans hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 and held them until the day that Ronald Reagan succeeded Carter as president in 1981.

Change of leadership.
In June 1979, Dr. Marvin E. Thames resigned as president of Delgado after more than 26 years leading the college. Under his leadership, which began in 1953, Delgado grew from a one-site trades school (the City Park Campus) to a multi-parish, comprehensive community college with more than 10,000 students. In August 1979, Dr. Harry J. Boyer was named president of Delgado. He was a vice president, provost, and dean of education on the City Park Campus before becoming president. Boyer targeted as his priorities the consolidation of services and streamlining of the more than 70 certificate and associate’s degree programs at Delgado. Boyer held a doctorate in higher education from East Texas State University and earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.

—Dr. Harry J. Boyer, Delgado President, The Louisiana Weekly, 11 August 1979.


Trail-blazers: The First Women and African-American Students at Delgado

By: Dee Shedrick
Historians provide dates and facts through research that have been documented about the past. However, events of yesterday are not always written on paper, stored in a box in the attic or caught on film. Sometimes, even if history has been saved, it may have been misplaced or destroyed. Also, because we were not actually there, and the possibility that it was a long time ago, every detail may not be precisely accurate. For instance, during our attempts to find the first woman and African-American male who attended Delgado, we discovered news articles, one in 1963 and the other in 1964, stating that two different women were the first to graduate from the College. So how do we uncover the truth and re-create our history for Delgado's 90th anniversary? We depend on the people who lived those experiences to recall what happened and share their experience with us. Then, we can relive those moments and take a walk down memory lane through their eyes.

Delgado Community College does not have on record who was the first woman or the first African-American to integrate and graduate from the school. The stories that follow are from three individuals who attended Delgado and claim to be the first or one of the first to receive diplomas or degrees from the College, in their own words.

Norma Jean Tonglet Brown, the first woman to enroll at Delgado.
Norma Jean Brown graduated from Delgado with a diploma from the Commercial Education Department in 1963. Brown says she was the first female to be enrolled at the school because there was a campaign for women to attend. Her brother, Tom Tonglet Jr. also attended, taking printing and/or art courses. Brown remembers, "It was scary being at the school with so many boys." Delgado was in the process of integrating to a co-ed institution, after being a trade school for boys since 1921. Ronald Brown, who later became her husband, was one of those boys enrolled in classes learning radio, cash register and copy machine repair, while Brown took courses like shorthand, typing, accounting, business law, English and math.

Brown was the secretary of the student council and immediately went to work after graduation as a secretary. "High school did not prepare me with the skills I needed to go on with my life. I had a great career for myself and raised my kids on my own because of the training Delgado provided," she said. Brown worked for some of New Orleans' top law firms like Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel. At one point, she worked for the only patent attorney in the city (patent law facilitates patent applications, trademarks and copyrights).  Patents became her specialty and she did everything from accounting to management. Brown recently retired after 45 years of working in the field.

"In the 60's, integration was a hot topic," said Brown, and no one knows that better than Sterling Doucette. Doucette attended Delgado in 1964 after the federal government merged the white and the black Carpenters Local Union 2039 and 1846. Unions typically fight for the rights of its members and offer professional training and job placement. Because Delgado had recently segregated, Carpenters Local 1846 sent Doucette, two of his cousins and several other African-American union members for schooling and picked up the tab. "I don't know if I am the first black, but I know that I was among the first blacks to go there," said Doucette. While at Delgado, Doucette became a substitute teacher and successfully completed his studies in construction management and blueprint reading and even returned a second time to get an engineering license.

After graduation Doucette worked in the booming construction industry in New Orleans. He helped build the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Rivergate, currently the site of Harrah's casino. Doucette says because of Delgado he is self-employed and has owned Doucette & Associated Contractors, Inc., since 1967. "Delgado offers opportunities to the young and disadvantaged in the white and the black communities … everyone is not going to be a lawyer, but if they are skilled with their hands, they can learn at Delgado."

Sterling Doucette, one of the first African-American men to attend Delgado.
Norma Jean Brown may have been the first Caucasian female, and Sterling Doucette one of the first African-American males to enroll at Delgado, but in 1973, Carmen Bazile says she was the first African-American woman to graduate with a Culinary Arts Degree. "I was a fly in buttermilk," recalls Bazile. "It was a major challenge being a female and trying to break through the glass ceiling that was a man's world in culinary arts."

Delgado was chosen for Bazile after she cooked home-made hamburgers for a family that she worked for as a maid. Unaware of the meaning of culinary, she began the program, all expenses paid by her employer.  At Delgado, Bazile learned cake decorating and international, bulk and industrial cooking. She became the president of the Culinary Club and managed to get a job as a head chef after graduation at a local restaurant, called CafĂ© Brulot. Later, she worked at Nunez Community College for 24 years as an instructor and won the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002. Bazile also created a line of seasoning called "Miss Ruth's All-Natural Seasonings" that have been sold all-over the world.

Carmen Bazile, the first African-American to receive a culinary art degree at Delgado.
Bazile's years at Delgado and in the food industry were very challenging. Bazile had to overcome many prejudices. "Women didn't get the title of chefs -- we were prep cooks," Bazile said. "In spite of the challenges, my experience has made me a person to deal with any type of situation … and it made me have a deep appreciation for education. I thank God for Delgado and the woman who directed that path for me."

Much has changed since the ‘60s and ‘70s. Today, women and African-Americans take the lead in enrollment at Delgado and the numbers are still climbing. Figures show that women make up 65.9 percent of the student population compared to 34.1 percent of men. And African-American students college-wide saw a 14.3 percent increase from the Fall 2010 semester with 41.7 percent, followed by Caucasian students with 33.6 percent. The one thing that has remained consistent at Delgado is the role it plays in the community of providing a clear pathway from education to the workplace, something that Brown can attest to. "I am very proud of what Delgado has become and it's good to see how much the school has grown since I attended," Brown said.

Sources Consulted

Personal Interviews: Carmen Bazile, Norma Jean Brown and Sterling Doucette.

Fall 2011 enrollment report, provided by Delgado Office of Institutional Research.


Delgado in the 60's: Diversity Abounds

By: Dee Shedrick
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The 1960s started with the Beatles and ended with Motown. Barbie got a new boyfriend named Ken. Women wore bouffant hair, then miniskirts. We were introduced to the Big Mac, Tab and Fritos. Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Hippies drove Volkswagens, while American-made cars were parked in suburban driveways.
The 60s was a turbulent decade of political and social change in America, as African-Americans, women and baby boomers fought for civil rights, social equality and self-expression. The events and new discoveries of that era brought a lot of change and progress to society. And like the rest of the world, Delgado Community College experienced its own growth spurt that has made the school what it is today.
Campus headlines
  • In 1960, Delgado Central Trades School changed its name to Delgado Trades and Technical Institute, started its two-year program and began graduating students with associate degrees.
  •  In 1961, a check was presented to Delgado for $150,000 from the estate of Elleanora Moss, who was a good friend of Isaac Delgado, the founder of the school, to build The Moss Technical Library.
  • Circa 1961-1962, a Rehabilitation Center opened on the City Park campus, with dormitories for handicapped students that currently houses Allied Health in building four. Also a Vocational Rehabilitation Center was started through a contract with the State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Welfare.
Left: City Park Campus Rehabilitation Center circa 1961 - 62
Right: Present day Rehabilitation Center

Doris Guthrie, first woman to graduate from Delgado.
Photo courtesy of Times-Picayune, July 30, 1964.
  • In compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Mrs. Doris M. Guthrie was the first woman to graduate from Delgado with a degree in Commercial Education-Secretarial Studies, and Sterling Doucette was one of the first African-Americans to graduate from the school. Doucette attended Delgado with all expenses paid after the federal government merged the black and the white carpenter unions. Doucette studied construction, construction management and blueprint reading. Charity School of Nursing also complied with the act by allowing married students to enroll in its program.
  • In 1965, the first African-American student was admitted to Charity School of Nursing.
  • In 1966, Delgado Institute became Isaac Delgado College, then shortly after that, Delgado Vocational-Technical Junior College. Also, the Louisiana State Legislation and the New Orleans City Council recognized the school as the leading junior college in the state of Louisiana. 
  • Circa 1966-1967, plans for the West Bank campus were underway at the Algiers Naval Base.
  • In 1968, Ford Motor Company donated auto equipment to the Vocational Rehabilitation Center.
  • In 1969, an engineering building, renovation to the Rehabilitation Center and the library were completed.
    Ford Motor Co. donated auto equipment to the Vocational
    Rehabilitation Center at a banquet in 1968.
Students making payment during registration in 1968 at Delgado.
 New Orleans and Louisiana headlines
In 1960, Leona Tate, Gail Etienne and Tessie Prevost desegregated John Mc Donogh 19, an all-white school in the lower 9th Ward, while Ruby Bridges simultaneously made her solo entrance through the front doors of William T. Frantz school escorted by U.S. federal marshals. Construction began on interstates I-10 and I-20.
  • In 1963, the bald cypress is named Louisiana’s state tree.
  • In 1965, Hurricane Betsy destroys the city.
  • In 1966, the brown pelican is named Louisiana’s state bird.
  • 1n 1967, funds are appropriated to build the Louisiana Superdome.
  • In 1969, "Moon" Landrieu is elected mayor.

National and world headlines
  • In 1960, John F. Kennedy is elected president.
  • In 1961, Freedom Riders are beaten for trying to segregate public transportation.
  • In 1962, a ban on Cuban imports is ordered and Marilyn Monroe sings happy birthday to President Kennedy.
  • In 1963, John F. Kennedy is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas.
  • In 1965, the Voting Rights Act is passed by Congress, Vietnam War continued and the anti-war movement began.
  • 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy are assassinated.
  • In 1969, a man walks on the moon and a three-day music festival called Woodstock takes place.
Works Consulted

Delgado website, www.dcc.edu <http://www.dcc.edu> .
Delgado catalogs, 1967-1968, 1969-1970, 1970-1971, 1978-1979 and 1999-2000.
Delgado Master Plans, 1973 and 1987-1988.
Desegregation, The New Orleans Tribune, November 14, 2010.
Library Handbook, 1965
The States-Item, October 1961